Taj Mahal, made by blood and sweat of ”Bharat Mata’s sons”, will be protected: Adityanath
The UP CM’s comments come a day after his colleague, Sangeet Som, questioned the Taj Mahal’s place in India’s heritage.
The Taj Mahal was made by the blood and sweat of “Bharat Mata’s sons” and its protection was the responsibility of the Uttar Pradesh government, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Tuesday.
Announcing that he would visit Agra on October 26 to review tourism schemes, the Chief Ninister said the Taj Mahal was a historical monument regardless of the emperor who built it. There was a Rs. 370 crore work plan for the city and it was the government’ds duty to provide proper security and facilities to tourists
Mr. Adityanath’s comments come a day after BJP MLA Sangeet Som questioned the Taj Mahal’s place in India’s heritage and observed that history would be rewritten to erase Mughal emperors from it.
“It is immaterial as to who and how the Taj Mahal was built… It was made by the sweat and blood of Bharat Mata’s sons,” Mr. Adityanath said in Gorakhpur.
“It is famous the world over for its architecture... it is a historical monument and its protection and further development for tourism is the responsibility of the government,” he said.
Development of forts
The government was working for tourism development in the Kalinjer Fort (in Banda) and prepared schemes for the development of Rani Laxmibai’s Fort in Jhansi and the Chunar Fort (in Mirzapur), he said.
In Lucknow, Principal Secretary (Information) Awanish Awasthi confirmed to journalists that the Chief Minister would visit the Agra Fort and review other schemes for the city.
Mr. Som’s comments on the Taj Mahal came after the Adityanath government reportedly omitted the 17th century monument from an official booklet on tourist destinations.
“Many people are pained to see that the Taj Mahal was removed from the list of places [tourist destinations]. What type of history” he asked at a public meeting in Meerut on Monday.
His comments prompted an angry response from All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader and Lok Sabha member Asaduddin Owaisi. He asked if the government would tell tourists not to visit the monument.
The BJP stepped into the row with party spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao describing the Muslim rule in India as “barbaric and a period of incomparable intolerance” while asserting that its members could hold any opinion they want on specific monuments.
Following reports about the Taj Mahal being left out of the booklet, the State government issued a press release that said, “Tourism projects worth Rs. 370 crore are proposed, under which schemes worth Rs. 156 crore for development of parks and various facilities are meant for the Taj Mahal and its surrounding areas in Agra.”
-PTI, GORAKHPUR/LUCKNOW, OCTOBER 17, 2017